Monday, September 12, 2011
Got questions? Ask the superintendent during a series of Q&A sessions.
If you live within the boundaries of Valley View School District, you’ve probably heard about the “New View” — Supt. James Mitchem’s plan for boosting student achievement. The plan calls for lots of changes, including a new grading policy that puts more emphasis on test scores and what students can prove they know, and less focus on what Mitchem calls compliance, including homework and classroom participation. Mitchem, who became superintendent on July 1, laid out his educational philosophy at community forums in Bolingbrook and Romeoville last month. Now, he’ll hear from parents and community members. The superintendent will host six question-and-answer sessions, starting this week in Bolingbrook. The scheduled events, dedicated solely to…
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Superintendent to parents: "Spend quality time with your kids."
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Editor's note: The following is a release from the Valley View School District. “Love your child. We’ll take care of the rest.” That’s what James Mitchem, Valley View School District 365U’s new superintendent, told the Bolingbrook Rotary Club last week. “My focus is not on what parents can do that I can witness like the PTO, or coming to school for this or that event, or joining the boosters. These things are very important, however, it is what parents do that we, as educators, don’t witness that is of critical importance.” he said, “If you really want to be involved, take care of your children, feed them, clothe them, don’t let them run the streets, read to them, spend quality time with them, and most of all ensure they know they are …
Monday, August 8, 2011
The program would be part of Mitchem’s efforts to shift district resources toward grades K-3, which he says are crucial to development.
An all-day kindergarten program in the Valley View School District would be ideal for Jim Mitchem's plans to make the district one of the best in the state. The school district's newest superintendent echoed that need during one of his two community forums designed to inform the public on his plan for the district last week. Mitchem has been pushing for an all-day kindergarten program since at least May, when the district asked residents to complete a survey aimed at gauging community interest in all-day kindergarten. According to a committee, 2,259 people responded to the survey, with 85 percent saying it would be a good idea for Valley View to offer the program. Parents weren't too keen on paying a $150 per month fee for the program. But…
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Valley View superintendent's second forum is Thursday at 6 p.m. at Sara and Joseph Levy Center in Bolingbrook.
ROMEOVILLE—Jim Mitchem is taking nearly 100 years of educational principles and throwing it in the waste can. He’s starting over. And his reputation is more or less on the line. The Valley View School District’s new superintendent believes the current system is flawed—inconsistent in the way it approaches and educates its students. “I’m not a really big believer in our system of education,” Mitchem said. His new system will move more quickly to adapt to a students’ need on an individual level and, if all goes to plan, make Valley View one of the top school districts in the state. Mitchem showcased his plan during a community forum at the Romeoville Recreation Center Monday night. He’ll hold another at the Sara and Joseph Levy Center on …
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Pam Pritchard, Valley View's new director of 6-12 literacy and social studies , summarizes her new role in 10 simple words: “Help teachers educate students to the best of their ability.”
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Editor's Note: The following article is a release from the Valley View School District. Pam Pritchard knows reading holds the key to success in all facets of life. “In order for students to succeed, they must understand what they read, which means to infer” said Valley View School District 365U’s new Director of 6-12 Literacy and Social Studies. “Literacy is embedded in everything we do in our society. I have often shared with students that the actors, artists, and athletes they have come to love are also good readers. For those who aren’t, someone is doing it for them.” Pritchard, who moves into her position following five years as Bolingbrook High School’s English Department Chair and nine years of teaching English at both BHS and …
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
New superintendent will hold series of community forums beginning the first week of August.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Editor's Note: The following is a release from the Valley View School District. James Mitchem Jr., the new superintendent of Valley View School District 365U, will unveil his team’s plans for making VVSD one of the top school districts in the state during a series of community forums beginning the first week in August. Titled “The New View: A Design for Change,” the forums will focus on VVSD’s efforts to better prepare students for life after high school both academically and socially by increasing the rigor in the classroom and providing highly qualified, caring teachers and administrators. The initial forum will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Romeoville Recreation Center, 900 W. Romeo Rd. (135th St.) Child care will be provided by …
Friday, July 15, 2011
School district website's 'Ask the Superintendent' is designed to answer questions about the upcoming school year and more.
You've got questions. He's got answers. Valley View Supt. Jim Mitchem has been on the job for just more than two weeks and he's already implementing new and unusual ways to interact with students, parents and the public at large. Take a peak at the district's website and you'll notice a new feature called "Ask the Superintendent." According to the website, Mitchem, the former principal of Bolingbrook High School, will hold a series of community forums to discuss the upcoming school year and the changes that have taken place in the district. Mitchem said the idea actually was hatched by the district Director of Community Relations Larry Randa. "It was Larry Randa's idea, and a good one if I might add," Mitchem said. "I have had several …
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Bolingbrook High School graduate has application revoked for series of scholarships after school skipped due process in suggesting he was loitering in a hallway.
The mother of a recent Bolingbrook High School graduate is upset with the school’s administration after an unfortunate case of mistaken identity led to her son’s scholarship applications being revoked, potentially costing him money for college. Casson Hale, a senior who graduated June 5, had his application revoked for a series of scholarships doled out by BHS because Principal Jim Mitchem’s secretary mistakenly identified Hale as a student involved in a school altercation during the final days of the school year. Mitchem’s secretary, Linda Pawlowicz, said she saw several boys in a hallway after school and told them they needed to leave the building. The boys then proceeded to shout profanities at Pawlowicz, who asked for their IDs so she …
Friday, June 3, 2011
Soon-to-be Supt. Jim Mitchem says he'll hold himself 'accountable for all things Valley View.'
Jim Mitchem never expected smooth sailing. But the next superintendent of the Valley View School District may not have thought the water would grow so choppy as quickly as it has. Having yet to spend an official day as the head of the district, Mitchem and his decision-making has already come under fire in the form of his first official hire—his successor as Bolingbrook High Schoolprincipal, Fabby Williams. But Mitchem remains sold on the idea of self-accountability. “I’ve said that in three years, if this [district] isn’t a better place, I deserve to be scrutinized,” he said. “I believe we have the capacity to be a better place than we are now, and I believe that with every fiber of my being. But if I cannot convince this district of the …
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Incoming superintendent calls recent N.Y. Times article a distraction, but he retains belief in future BHS principal.
Jim Mitchem, principal of Bolingbrook High School and soon-to-be superintendent of the Valley View School District, said he’d be lying if he didn’t call the recent New York Times article criticizing his choice to succeed him at BHS a distraction. But to the point where Mitchem is reconsidering making Fabby Williams the high school’s next principal? Not at all, he says. “Of course it’s a distraction,” Mitchem said. “But to the extent that it has weakened my resolve in terms of my perception of the type of administrator Fabby Williams is? No.” Last week a New York Times article reported some teachers at Williams’ current school—Austin Polytechnical Academy in Chicago, where he is the interim principal—thought he was unresponsive to the …